Negative people are like rotting garbage. If you don't throw it out with the rest of the trash, your house is going to smell. And if you leave it too long, the bad smell will permeate your clothing, your hair, linger on your skin and in your nostrils. But how do you know when enough is enough? When is the right time to cut the cord on a relationship? Does the "right" time even exist?
Any time you make a decision to end a relationship--whether with a friend, neighbor, boss, doctor, lawyer, parent, sibling, or girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse--it has to be considered on an individual basis. There's no "one size fits all" answer. Think carefully about why you began the relationship in the first place. How is this person important to your life? In other words, what do they mean to you, and you to them? Do they depend on you for anything? Do you depend on them? And, in what ways? How will life change if you end the relationship?
All of these questions are important to making a healthy decision that moves your life forward--not back. Because, ultimately, any time you end a relationship, it is because that relationship is preventing you from doing just that: Evolving.
Life is long. As we live it, we must grow and naturally, will change to accomodate that growth. When any relationship prevents that from happening, or slows it down, we are unhappy. Why are we unhappy? Imagine wearing the same T-shirt you wore when you were, say, ten years old--but for the rest of your life. The T-shirt will always be the same size, but you won't be. You're programmed for growth; it's in your very DNA. And as you grow, you have to buy new clothes--bigger clothes--to fit your new body. If you don't, the T-shirt you wore when you were ten will begin to stretch, and eventually, it will rip at the seams, falling off your body in tatters. During that process, you'll feel like the too-small T-shirt is squeezing you and you can't breathe. As if you're suffocating. But someone special gave you the T-shirt, and you're afraid to take it off. If you take it off, will you be the same person? Will your family still love you? Can you even find another T-shirt that fits???
Lots of questions. The only way to answer those questions is by moving yourself, and your life, forward. Time to take off the T-shirt. Even if you feel it's just snug. Even if you feel you can somehow change your shape, lose weight or otherwise make yourself smaller, you still have to find something to wear until you do. And in the interim, you may want to ask yourself why you have to change who you are to fit into a piece of clothing that no longer fits. If the people in your life chastise you for wanting to discard clothing you can't wear, discouraging you from properly attiring your body--then you need to find new people who will support you, and, your growth as a human being.
Is it frightening? Of course. The big question marks about what will happen when you make a decision to remove someone from your life are very real, and, very scary. But you still have to answer them. And only you can do it. No one will be able to tell you what to do next. That's part of your growth process. Yours. Not anyone else's.
Are you ready? To evolve? Have you had "enough"? It takes courage to answer these questions. And you have it. If you didn't, the question would have never occurred to you in the first place.